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| | |-+  Partisan Polarization Surges in Bush, Obama Years
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Author Topic: Partisan Polarization Surges in Bush, Obama Years  (Read 1185 times)
Franzl
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« Reply #25 on: June 05, 2012, 10:48:21 am »
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In normal cases, how can a "stalemate" result when 50% +1 allows you to pass a law? Has little to di with the "art of compromise".
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brittain33
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« Reply #26 on: June 05, 2012, 10:54:06 am »
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Our institutions make it impossible for either party to carry out its agenda except under extraordinary circumstances like the 6-month period when the Dems had 60 senators. Frustration breeds resentment.

Then why it's different in Germany, UK and Canada?

It's completely different in the UK. Governments there can be very effective.

Canada has the complicating factor of Quebec nationalism, without which things are quite effective.

Germany has a system that discourages powerful parliamentary majorities, presumably there's a preference for consensus over strong government because of the history.
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smoltchanov
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« Reply #27 on: June 05, 2012, 10:54:43 am »
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In normal cases, how can a "stalemate" result when 50% +1 allows you to pass a law? Has little to di with the "art of compromise".

If you have a rigidly ideologized parties 50% +1 seats allows you to pass ANY law, and its not bad- it's EXTREMELY bad. If your parties are like US parties were in 60-th - 70th (more or less "big tent" parties), or if you have a lot of parties, so 50% +1 seat is almost mathematically impossible - you need to compromise to enact even a something. And it's good IMHO, because "truth" is, usually, "somewhere in between"...))))
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Raging moderate. Big fan of "mavericks" (in all parties) and big non-lover of "reliable foot soldiers" (in all parties as well). Very much "anti-tea party". Political Matrix - E: -0.26, S: -3.48
smoltchanov
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« Reply #28 on: June 05, 2012, 10:57:38 am »
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Our institutions make it impossible for either party to carry out its agenda except under extraordinary circumstances like the 6-month period when the Dems had 60 senators. Frustration breeds resentment.

Then why it's different in Germany, UK and Canada?

It's completely different in the UK. Governments there can be very effective.

Canada has the complicating factor of Quebec nationalism, without which things are quite effective.

Germany has a system that discourages powerful parliamentary majorities, presumably there's a preference for consensus over strong government because of the history.

That all supports my conclusions: present-day political polarization in US (without corresponding "tradition of consnsus" and past "big tents") is not only bad, but dangerous thing. Both for US and the world. I wouldn't be so concerned if such polarization took place, say, in Rwanda))))
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Raging moderate. Big fan of "mavericks" (in all parties) and big non-lover of "reliable foot soldiers" (in all parties as well). Very much "anti-tea party". Political Matrix - E: -0.26, S: -3.48
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brittain33
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« Reply #29 on: June 05, 2012, 11:02:41 am »
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Right. That's why we need to seriously scale back or eliminate the filibuster in the Senate, and yes, I'll support that when the GOP takes the chamber this fall or in 2014.
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LastVoter
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« Reply #30 on: June 05, 2012, 01:20:24 pm »
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Forget commenters on the Internet. That doesn't count.

Then look at present day american politics. With centrist  politicians almost permanently attacked by "activists". The only difference being - from the left in Democratic case, from the right - in Republican
Dubya had no problem carrying out his agenda.

Our institutions make it impossible for either party to carry out its agenda except under extraordinary circumstances like the 6-month period when the Dems had 60 senators. Frustration breeds resentment.
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brittain33
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« Reply #31 on: June 05, 2012, 02:42:51 pm »
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Forget commenters on the Internet. That doesn't count.

Then look at present day american politics. With centrist  politicians almost permanently attacked by "activists". The only difference being - from the left in Democratic case, from the right - in Republican
Dubya had no problem carrying out his agenda.

Our institutions make it impossible for either party to carry out its agenda except under extraordinary circumstances like the 6-month period when the Dems had 60 senators. Frustration breeds resentment.

Actually, Dubya did hit the wall on most everything except for tax cuts and war. His Social Security initiative crumbled immediately.
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« Reply #32 on: June 08, 2012, 04:46:57 pm »
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What I noticed from the Pew Research Report is the GOP has tacked more to the right on economic issue as well as environmental and immigration issues in the last 20 years or so. White Liberals or White Democrats on the other hand have tacked more to the left on issues having due to with minority well-being like on topics like immigration and affirmative action.
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smoltchanov
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« Reply #33 on: June 09, 2012, 01:50:57 am »
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My conclusions as well. Though i wouldn't say that GOP became much more moderate on social issues too. But it really became thoroughly anti-labor...
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muon2
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« Reply #34 on: June 09, 2012, 04:34:05 pm »
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What's wrong with polarized political parties? The Dem coalition up until the 1980s didn't make any sense for public policy, and the trade of a lot of conservative southern Dems for a smaller number of liberal and moderate northern Republicans is very good for coherence of policy, if bad for "polarization."

The major problem we have is that our parties now operate like a parliamentary system but our institutions (notably, the senate) haven't evolved to reflect that. A smaller problem is how local elections get tainted by association with the federal parties which distorts the process so no Republican can get elected to local government in D.C. and no Dem in Texas.

This precisely. This "problem" would not be recognized as such in parliamentarian systems. The government and opposition, after all, are expected to paint two very different pictures. And to be honest, I don't quite understand why we should want our politicians to have to "compromise" to get anything done. Let the majority govern, and vote them out at the next election if you don't like the result of their policies.

But in the US the voter does not expect to vote for a party, they expect to vote for a person. Their party affiliation is an important attribute, but not the only one. For an incumbent in a general election the voting record and constituent service is more important than the party. An incumbent who played the part of the loyal opposition voting against all major initiatives of the majority would not last except in the most solid partisan districts. In a 55-45 district that just won't do.
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« Reply #35 on: June 09, 2012, 04:54:53 pm »
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But in the US the voter does not expect to vote for a party, they expect to vote for a person. Their party affiliation is an important attribute, but not the only one. For an incumbent in a general election the voting record and constituent service is more important than the party. An incumbent who played the part of the loyal opposition voting against all major initiatives of the majority would not last except in the most solid partisan districts. In a 55-45 district that just won't do.

Coming from you, muon2, I trust that this is true, and it does make me feel better about things.  Even a cursory think would lead one to the conclusion, I suppose, to assume that, in districts with margins of 10 or less, there would be enough swing votes to cost a rep. their seat if they themselves were overly partisan and did not deliver for their constituents.  In fact, I remember even when growing up in North Dakota, when one of our U.S. Senators Quintin Burdick ran for reelection, his campaign ads were all about his "clout" and seniority, and how little sense it would make to send a newbie to Congress who was in a worse position to bring home goodies for the state; he never mentioned his party affiliation.

On the other hand, at least since the mid-'90's in Congressional elections on the national level, campaigns have become "nationalized" and party machinery on both sides of the aisle have, it seems to me, tried hard to polarize the voters along partisan lines, with some success.
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« Reply #36 on: June 10, 2012, 08:43:29 am »
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But in the US the voter does not expect to vote for a party, they expect to vote for a person. Their party affiliation is an important attribute, but not the only one. For an incumbent in a general election the voting record and constituent service is more important than the party. An incumbent who played the part of the loyal opposition voting against all major initiatives of the majority would not last except in the most solid partisan districts. In a 55-45 district that just won't do.

This does not seem consistent with the last three congressional elections.
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Jakebert
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« Reply #37 on: June 10, 2012, 01:56:27 pm »
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One of the other major reasons for increased partisanship in the U.S. comes from moving patterns in voters. Individuals are now more likely to move to communities where they surround themselves with others that share identical views rather than live in a community where they're surrounded by those who differ from them. For example, gated communities and housing developments tend to attract like-minded people and filter out those different. I've read a few books on this, plus just experience from doing canvassing and stuff in the past, I've found that you can clearly differentiate from "liberal" housing developments and "conservative" ones in the right cities.

Others in this thread have mentioned the echo chambers that have arisen in the party organizations, but echo chambers for voters like these are also pretty important. Parties become more extreme, voters follow then demand parties to go even farther from the center, and the parties do so, thus creating a cycle where parties get more and more extreme.
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muon2
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« Reply #38 on: June 10, 2012, 02:15:21 pm »
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But in the US the voter does not expect to vote for a party, they expect to vote for a person. Their party affiliation is an important attribute, but not the only one. For an incumbent in a general election the voting record and constituent service is more important than the party. An incumbent who played the part of the loyal opposition voting against all major initiatives of the majority would not last except in the most solid partisan districts. In a 55-45 district that just won't do.

This does not seem consistent with the last three congressional elections.

IL-17 went to Schilling in '10 only in part by the wave election. Hare did not have the constituent service or personal touch of his predecessor Evans (ironic since Hare ran Evans' office). Hare's voting record was too much on the party line for a district that was lean D so it flipped.

Like Hare, Mark Kirk was also a former chief of staff for a congressman in the same district. Unlike Hare he held a very Dem-leaning IL-10 in the bad GOP years of '06 and '08 by matching some key positions to his district and excelling at constituent outreach.

That's just one pair of counterexamples to illustrate each direction. In many lean R or D districts party flips occur precisely for the reasons I stated. The incumbent trusts the intrinsic partisan affiliation of the district too much, when that is only one factor. When the other party gets a good year, those seats go first. Conversely when an incumbent works the other factors besides party affiliation they can hold up against strong waves for the other party.
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« Reply #39 on: June 10, 2012, 07:26:03 pm »
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My conclusions as well. Though i wouldn't say that GOP became much more moderate on social issues too. But it really became thoroughly anti-labor...
Well yeah the GOP doesn't like Unions because they give money to the Dems. Likewise the Dems do the same thing to the oil companies because big oil are big donors to the GOP. Thats why the Dems like to name drop "oil companies" all the time.
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Purch
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« Reply #40 on: June 10, 2012, 11:01:46 pm »
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By the end of this decade the republican party will be controlled by Libertarians and social conservatives and Neo-cons will slowly fade out the party
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Alfred F. Jones
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« Reply #41 on: June 11, 2012, 08:17:18 am »
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By the end of this decade the republican party will be controlled by Libertarians and social conservatives and Neo-cons will slowly fade out the party

...What?
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SJoyce
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« Reply #42 on: June 11, 2012, 08:31:17 am »
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By the end of this decade the republican party will be controlled by Libertarians and social conservatives and Neo-cons will slowly fade out the party

...What?

I'm hoping that means it'll be controlled by libertarians, and social conservatives/neocons will fade from existence.
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